Seed Hoarders?

As I live and breathe…

I just popped over to Baker Creek Seeds and found 75% (maybe more?) of their stock out. Seed Savers Exchange isn’t even taking new orders because demand has been so high. My UK supplier isn’t taking orders either.

I had heard that people were hoarding seeds, but I didn’t really quite believe it (especially when there are copious seeds available in hardware and big-box stores right now- I’ve seen it with my own eyes). I’m not 100% sure I understand the panic. This seems to me to be much like the toilet paper debacle, wherein I shake my head knowing that these items aren’t going to be what we struggle with in the worst case scenario- if it ever comes to that (highly unlikely as it may be). Our food supply is solid (especially as we roll into growing seasons across the country). Toilet paper makers aren’t going under either. This is madness.

While I’m generally wholly, enthusiastically supportive of people getting into gardening, this doesn’t feel like the nation has suddenly had an epiphany about the wonders of grow-your-own. This doesn’t feel like the rebirth of the Victory Garden. This stinks of fear and grasping at anything that gives the illusion of security. I mean, Okra is sold out. Most people don’t know how to cook with it, let alone grow it (or even know if it will grow in their area!). Onion and Leek seeds are sold out despite it being far, far too late in the game for seed-grown onions in Northern climes. The list goes on and on and on.

We have plenty of seeds to last probably close to a decade, we are gardeners after all, and have been amassing said collection for years- like most of you probably! But I usually put in a second small order around this time, to either replace something that didn’t germinate well (looking at you Rapini) or to add something I read about and probably throw in a few annuals to try. But of course, all broccoli seeds are gone. Thankfully the poppies I wanted ARE still available (I’m planning to become an Opium Queen in the Apocalypse! I kid, I kid!).

In any event, I just felt the need to kvetch about this new development. I hope those seeds don’t go to waste and I do hope that, irrespective of the current pandemic, it IS the rebirth of Victory Gardens and a new grow-your-own movement. I hope people reach out to gardeners they know or Extension experts and try growing all these hoarded seeds. I just hope next year isn’t a seed-buying disaster…

Image via Pinterest

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, and be well!

6 thoughts on “Seed Hoarders?”

  1. From what I’ve read, baby chicks are selling out, too. I think people are buying without researching and thinking, “How hard can it be?” If you belong to a geographic-based Facebook gardening group, the number of new members asking “How do I do this?” has gone way up. If nothing else, I hope the nation as a whole starts to value the skill and hard work farmers provide.

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    1. Agree- but I cringe for the well-being of those poor baby chicks. I’ve stayed off Facebook for the past few weeks, but I absolutely believe those reports.

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  2. Kathy makes good points. The number of new members in our Fb “backyard gardeners” for central Indiana tripled in a week. I hope many of them really DO become gardeners, but right now they are busily planting zucchini and beans in egg shells in a window with no light…in early April! It will take more patience on their part, and patience on our part as teachers to guide them through the discouragements in their gardening future.

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    1. That was my fear- I find so many people’s default reaction to just DO (or “research using Pinterest”) and then flail about and whine when the results aren’t good and ask for help after the fact, or worse yet, exclaim that its too hard and give up. But you are right, it will require patience from those of us who get the questions lobbed our way!

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